Review of Hashtag Love by R.L. Burgess
For me, this book really was better than expected. It had nothing to do about the author, in fact, I liked her last book Counting on Love, and was hoping to like this too. It really was more about the subject because the blurb didn’t catch my eye. Anyone that follows my reviews knows I can be a little picky about my romances, but I have a good track record with Bella so I decided to give this a go anyway. And in the end, I’m glad I did because I enjoyed this much more than I expected after reading the title and blurb.
I found this book to be very readable with writing that felt comfortable. I love romance, but I can get bored when there is not a lot else going on in the book. While this book was very job and everyday-life-related, I could not believe how fast the pages were going by. I love that feeling when you sit down with a book and all of a sudden you check your Kindle progress and the book is half way over already. I completely zoned out with the book, and lost track of time in the best way. So while this book had its bumps, I was so comfortable reading it that I didn’t really care.
I think what is going to make or break the book for some people is the character of Gin. There is a fine line between asshole and ice-queen and I think Gin went back and forth over that line a few times. For starters, she is not the normal ice-queen, she is one of the first bookish and a bit dorkish ice queen characters I have read. (If she is not technically an ice queen, she is at least an ice princess) Because of her perceived intelligence, she had trouble not looking down on people who don’t do things her way. On the other hand, I could not help but get the biggest kick out of her love for reviewing books on “Bestreads”. Anyway, there were times when I flat out could not stand her, when I felt she was crossing that line from ice to asshole. Yet, there were times when I totally understood her and even sympathized with her. I love ice characters so I might have had more patience for Gin than other readers may have. In the end, her character is a bit problematic, but I didn’t mind enough to ruin my reading enjoyment.
This book was actually more angsty than I expected. I would put it in the medium range on the ole angst meter. I was happy with it since all the conflict kept me interested and turning the pages. I’m also happy that Burgess didn’t rush the ending. Where the characters are now, they would fall between a HFN and HEA. I very much dislike rushed big HEA endings because they don’t seem realistic. If a book is going to end shortly after a bunch of conflicts, I don’t believe in a quick “oh everything is now fine and we are engaged with 6 kids on the way”. Instead, I want to know the characters are happily back together and that there is hope for something special to come. I think Burgess handled this ending in a believable way that I wish more authors would when they choose to have a very late relationship conflict. 3.75 Stars.
TLDR: A good third book by Burgess that was a step up from her solid second book. With the noticeable author growth that Burgess keeps making, I would not be surprised if she has a really big hit on the horizon. While the subject matter of this book didn’t initially grab me, this was a better-than-expected and enjoyable read. Burgess writes well and it is hard not to fly through her books. There may be a stumbling block for some readers with the icy character of Gin, who is not the most likable. I was okay with her character (most of the time) but I expect some readers may have more issues with her. The characters have some chemistry together and the ending is very believable for their story. I like Burgess’ writing style and she has turned into an author I won’t hesitate to read.
An ARC was given to me for a review.